When buying an Android smartphone, one thing is particularly important: the manufacturer’s software monitoring policy. The longer the tracking lasts, the more confident you can be that your device stays up to date and protected from potential cyber threats. In this article we will see together who are the good and bad students in this field.
If autonomy, photo sensors, design or general performance are decisive criteria when buying an Android smartphone, another one less known to the general public is also crucial: the software monitoring policy adopted by the manufacturer. .
In fact, before paying, it is important to know how long your smartphone will be kept updated, whether for important updates (as far as the operating system is concerned) and the security patches (which allow to ensure optimal protection against hacking and possible security breaches).
In this area, each manufacturer adopts one own policy with a specific schedule. And unsurprisingly, some brands are known for their seriousness, while others have yet to make headway. In this article we will see together who are the good and not so good students in 2022 in terms of follow-up length and delivery responsiveness. However, note that the duration of the follow-up may vary by manufacturer’s model (The newest and most expensive smartphones are often the best).
Android update: Which are the best manufacturers of 2022?
To make your research easier, we have decided to proceed in alphabetical order. To make this selection, we rely on the data from the manufacturers and the specialized website AOSMark. This platformranks Android smartphone manufacturers based on the average number of operating system updates they have applied to their phones in the past. Scores range from 0 to 5, where a high score is known to translate Long-term support from the manufacturer.
So let’s start with Taiwanese manufacturer Asus, which is content to offer the bare minimum recommended by Google. Namely two major Android upgrades and two years of Android security patches. In terms of responsiveness, the brand generally takes between two and three months to distribute operating system updates. This was the case, for example, with the current Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip. Launched on Android 11 in late May 2021, the two devices transitioned to Android 12 in January 2022, almost three months after Google released the stable version of the operating system. Note that among the TOP 20 manufacturers by AOS Mark, Asus is ranked 19th with a score of 0.1.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Google is among the top performers when it comes to tracking software. Still happy that Mountain View company is the origin of Android. Until the launch of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the American company offered three years of Android updates and three years of security updates.
However, since deploying its latest smartphones, the company has stepped up its security surveillance. In fact, the next Google Pixel smartphones, starting with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, will benefit from five years of security patches. Note, however, that when it comes to responsiveness, the manufacturer is often topped by a particular Samsung that it also greatly dislikes. However, this situation is not systematic and the Google Pixels remain the fastest filled smartphones. Unsurprisingly, Google tops the AOS Mark ranking with a score of 1.8 out of 5.
What about Nokia? On its latest smartphones like the Nokia XR20, the Finnish brand offers 4 years of security updates and 3 years of Android OS upgrades. As part of the Android One program, Nokia smartphones benefit from at least 2 years of OS software monitoring. However, the company ranks 14th in the AOS Mark ranking. The reason ? Many have complained about delays in delivering the latest Android security patches. Recently, the brand has created a dedicated webpage to get more information about the schedule of updates for each smartphone.
As you may know, Huawei’s former subsidiary has been independent since November 2020. In May 2021 and after months of negotiations with Google, Honor was granted permission to have the Play Store back and tag all Google applications on its devices, at the same time marking the return of Android. In March 2022, the brand also hit hard with the Honor Magic 4 Pro, a high-end photophone of excellent quality. In terms of software monitoring, Honor promises 2 years of major updates and 2 years of security patches. The manufacturer is not in the TOP 20 best manufacturers by AOS Mark. It has to be said that the brand is content with the bare minimum.
Motorola may be one of the most popular manufacturers in the United States, but not because of the quality of its software monitoring. In fact, the brand only offers two years of major updates and three years of bi-monthly security updates for its high-end devices like the Motorola Edge+ recently launched in 2022. It gets worse with older models, which have to make do with two major Android updates and two years of fortnightly security patches. And again, this policy only affects the high-end precedents.
Despite its association with Oppo and the fusion of its OxygenOS overlay with ColorOS, OnePlus remains in the ranking of manufacturers offering excellent software monitoring. In 2021, the Chinese brand changed its update policy to bring itself up to the level of the competition. All high-end models released since 2018 receive major Android updates for three years and security updates for four years. However, please note that this policy does not apply to the OnePlus Nord and Nord CE, which only benefit from two major operating system updates and three years of security patches. With a single Android update and 3 years of security patches, the entry-level Nord N-Series continues to reduce tracking time. The law firm is ranked 6th in the AOS Mark ranking.
The South Korean company can boast of offering the best tracking software. And for good reason, the company even outperforms Google in this area. In fact, in February 2022, Samsung announced that the manufacturer would now offer 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches on its latest smartphones such as the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy Z Fold. 3 and Z Flip will be offering 3. This new policy currently makes Samsung the king of Android software tracking. For other devices, we’re sticking with four major Android updates and four years of security patches.
In 2021, Xiaomi decided to change its software tracking policy. Since that date, the Chinese company has committed to providing four years of security updates and three years of major Android updates. Be careful though, the length of follow-up varies depending on the model (the newest benefits from the longest follow-up). For example, all Redmi devices receive one or two major Android updates, while Redmi Note and Mi smartphones receive two to three major updates. Finally, all Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro flagships will receive three major operating system updates and four years of security updates.
As I am sure you have understood, Google, Xiaomi and Samsung remain the most serious brands when it comes to software tracking, be it in terms of tracking time and responsiveness. Of course, we advise you to prioritize devices that benefit from long-term tracking (operating system and security combined).